February 28, 2014
Ganja found on boat from St Vincent

A vessel which reportedly left St. Vincent and the Grenadines this week for Trinidad and Tobago with boxes of banana among its cargo is now at the centre of drug investigations in Port-of-Spain.{{more}}

Media reports in the twin island republic quote police as saying marijuana valued at TT$300,000 was discovered in banana boxes off-loaded from the unnamed vessel.

Around 2 p.m. on Tuesday, February 25 officers of the Police Task Force noticed two men acting suspiciously as they off-loaded boxes from the vessel, docked at the CARICOM Open Wharf, according to a report in the Express newspaper.

The officers allowed the men to unpack their cargo and as they tried to exit the port in a car, they were stopped near the Tobago ferry terminal, the report said.

The vehicle was searched and 24 kilogrammes of marijuana were found stuffed inside 18 banana boxes with false bottoms.

The driver and lone passenger whose nationality was not given were arrested and were due to appear before a Port-of-Spain magistrate yesterday.

This drug bust has again drawn attention to the practice by drug traffickers of using food, and increasingly drink products, to conceal their shipments.

In December last year 732 pounds of cocaine, valued at US$100 million, destined for New York, were discovered by US Customs and Border Protection officers in cans bearing the labels of Trinidad Orange and Grapefruit juices.

Also in December, Vincentian naval officer Joromie Lewis died in the UK after consuming what turned out to be a cocaine-laced Pear D drink which the Trinidadian manufacturers said they do not export to the UK.

And earlier this month a British national, Nathan Smith was jailed here for two years for attempting to export liquid cocaine in three cans bearing the names of local Brewery products – Vita Malt, Presidente and Hairoun.